At the NEWRA Parks & Open Spaces Committee meeting last night, a group of residents discussed how they could mobilize resources to improve “The Gassy” (DeFilippo Park) on Prince Street. The Gassy is one of the most used parks in the North End, and the largest “internal” open space in the neighborhood. Its nickname comes from the tall gas tank that was removed in the 1930s, although some remnants of the tank’s structure still remain. The Parks Committee is new and still finding its way, although attendees appeared enthusiastic.
Residents cited a long list of maintenance and public safety issues, saying that the park does not get appropriate attention. The committee would like to change that, noting how resident participation working with the City has helped Christopher Columbus Park and the Greenway.
Residents said the field is mostly mud, especially after the March rains. The catch basins did not flow, flooding the park for days. With excessive trash and dog waste that is not being picked up, parents raised concerns about their children playing there. Concerns regarding nightly activity were also raised at the meeting.
A walkthrough of the park is scheduled for Saturday, April 10th at 9:00 am. All are welcome and residents can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Elected officials will be invited to participate.
The goal of the walkthrough is to conduct an inventory and field survey of the park’s condition and create a list of areas requiring improvement.
Following the April 10th walkthrough, the group discussed using “Boston Shines” on April 24th as an opportunity to do a community cleanup of the park.
After the priorities of maintenance and cleanup, the group would like to focus on a long-term capital improvement plan in coordination with Boston Parks. Organized neighborhood events such as art fairs, children’s activities and sports were also mentioned.
The next meeting of the NEWRA Parks & Open Spaces Committee will be scheduled sometime in April. Check their website at parks.newra.org.